House fires are scary, life-altering events – and unfortunately, they really can happen to anyone. It is easy to think “oh that will never happen to me,” but it could. Every family Champion Cleaning Systems helps after a fire has the same thought. However, there are some easy things you can be aware of in and around your Sharpsburg home to help prevent a fire from happening.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 50 percent of house fires in 2014 were caused by cooking mishaps. With such crazy-busy lives, it is so easy to turn on the stove then walk away and forget all about it. The National Fire Prevention Association says 57 percent start on the range or cook top, and just 16 percent inside the oven. Looking at all the injuries caused by house fires in 2014, 37 percent of them were also cooking related.
Please, when you are cooking, be alert and pay attention to what you are doing. If you have a grease fire, do not throw water on it. Instead, put a lid on top of it to smother the fire. Same goes for the oven – if something is on fire, turn the oven off and leave the door closed until the fire is out. Remember, oxygen feeds fire – so cutting off the oxygen source in a pan or the oven by closing it will help put the flames out faster.
These types of fires are less preventable than say a cooking-related fire, smoking, or a child playing with matches. However, there are ways to be careful. For example, be careful not to overload outlets with extension cords or appliances. Be sure to use surge protectors as much as possible. During the holidays, turn off the lights on your tree (and other decorations) when you’re sleeping or not at home. And, if your electrical system is out of date, it’s not a bad idea to have an electrician come out and do a quick check of the wires and system as a whole for any issues.
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but since smoking is on the decline in the U.S., as are fires sparkled by cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and so on. Still, if you’re a smoker, do not smoke in bed, and do not fall asleep while smoking. It is safest to just take it all outside. In 2014, 13 percent of deadly house fires were sparked by someone who was smoking.
Wood burning stoves seem to be becoming more popular as an alternative, and often less expensive, heating source. And everyone loves to have their fireplace going on a cold winter day. However, both can be hazards if they are not used correctly. Always make sure your chimney is clear, and never throw away ashes that are not completely cooled down. Also, just as you wouldn’t leave a candle unattended, it is wise to keep an eye on your fireplace as well.